Predictions for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo in 2014
2014 is here and its the first full year of a new generation. The Xbox One and PS4 have joined the Wii U on store shelves (except in Japan!) and the battle has begun.
How will the industry look on this day in 2015, one year from now? I can’t be for certain but I have a few predictions for how things will go for Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony this year. Of course these may not come out true but its always fun to speculate.
Let’s start with Sony. They’re riding a huge wave of momentum with some awesome looking PS4 software coming out, their next-gen console is outselling everything and they seem to have a swagger about them that they haven’t possessed in years.
In 2014 I can see Sony being even more successful as the PS4 continues to take off. New IPs like The Order and some new yet-to-be revealed surprises will give them a diverse portfolio while fan favorites like Uncharted keep things familiar. Basically the PS4 will sell the most out of all next-gen consoles in 2014.
The Vita, not so much. I’m sure Sony will release the PS Vita 2000 in the US at some point and it will get a handful of good titles but I can’t see things turning around for it this year. What Sony might do is re-brand the PS Vita TV micro-console for its western arrival.
Rumors have been saying that Sony’s big PS3 streaming service will likely release sometime during the summer and that would be the perfect time to release the Vita TV under the name of “Playstation TV”. They could bundle it with a Dual Shock 4 or 3 for $149 and sell it as a Roku/Apple TV competitor. The PS3/PS4 streaming would be a huge draw and could possibly gain Sony traction in the set-top box market.
Nintendo will recover a bit. The Wii U will not continue to struggle as bad as it is right now. The 3DS will continue to shine, possibly receiving the long rumored Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire remakes. But you all know the 3DS will do well and get some great games, you’re here for the Wii U prediction.
I can’t say the Wii U will recover all that well but I imagine it will sell at least 4-6 million units during 2014 off the heels of Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong, Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2 and Monolith’s X. If Nintendo keeps up their improved marketing the system can’t stay irrelevant that much longer, can it? It won’t get near the success of the PS4 but it will be a respectable step up from where it has been.
Perhaps this sales increase for the Wii U will be due to a huge price drop. My guess is that Nintendo redesigns the console and cuts costs. This might mean a smaller Game Pad that doesn’t cost so damn much to produce, maybe this means cutting out Wii backwards compatibility. Either way, they’re taking a huge loss on the system currently and I can’t imagine they’re happy with this. They’ve been selling it at a loss since release and I can’t see them sitting on their hands, not paying their engineers to design a Wii U model that is cheaper to produce.
Microsoft will do pretty well overall but I can’t see the Xbox One being as successful as initial sales give you the impression of. The Xbox One is still a $499 machine that plays a lot of the same games that the $399 PS4 plays. Unless Microsoft takes out Kinect 2, they can’t cut costs on the console anytime soon.
The Xbox 360 will continue to do well enough for a console on the way out, but the Xbox One will sort of flounder. Its way too expensive and as of this posting doesn’t seem to have many big, heavy hitting exclusives coming to it in 2014. Halo 5 is likely to ship this year but it remains to be seen if it can move $500 consoles.
Microsoft might release a subsidized Xbox One model at $299 or so to help with sales. I’m not sure how many people who would sign up for this but they had some decent success subsidizing the Xbox 360 recently so I’m sure there’s a market for this. All in all, we’ve got to remember that both the PS4 and Xbox One have online fees and that could be a big factor into the next-gen console wars.
People don’t want two devices with two “hidden” fees and the PS4 offers the one with the least restrictions. We saw a lot of people buy both a PS3 and Xbox 360 this past generation despite both offering similar experiences. I can’t see those people repeating this with the Xbox One and PS4 since both cost so much and have online fees like Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus.
Overall 2014 will be a solid year for gaming. There are countless titles to look forward to, like The Order, TitanFall, Destiny, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, Smash Bros and Mario Kart 8. We’ve finally got all three next-gen consoles in our homes, no longer looking over our shoulder for when the big three will drop what’s next. Its an exciting time to be a gamer to say the least.